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Understanding the Cost of Veterinary Care

Adapted from Trends Magazine article, December 2013

How can my veterinarian help me reduce the cost of veterinary care?

The very best way to reduce the overall cost of veterinary care is to invest in preventative care for your pet early on. This means scheduling regular exams during which your veterinarian can help your pet avoid preventable conditions and detect disease early on, which in turn helps you to avoid costly and painful treatment down the road. Just like with humans, preventative veterinary care is widely recognized as the best method of helping reduce long-term medical costs.

How does the cost of veterinary care compare to that of human health care?

Veterinary care is actually a good deal compared to human medicine. We are lucky enough to live in a world where veterinary hospitals can use the same technologies used in human health care. Thankfully for pet owners, veterinary hospitals offer medical care for a fraction of the cost of human medicine. The difference is that, in human medicine, we often do not see the full cost of health care as it is commonly paid by a health insurance provider.

How are veterinary fees determined?

Fees for veterinary health care are determined by the complexity of the case and treatment options, operational costs of maintaining hospital facilities with the appropriate technologies and equipment, and support personnel to provide the elevated level of service and care that pet owners expect and deserve. We strive to keep our fees competitive with clinics offering similar levels of care.

Why do fees appear to vary so much from one veterinary hospital to another?

It is important to recognize that different veterinary hospitals will provide different levels of care and expertise. As consumers, pet owners must choose their veterinarian based on a combination of the quality of care they are seeking as well as personal financial considerations. AAHA accredited hospitals like South Hyland are committed to quality care and are first and foremost concerned with the best interest of the pet.

Does that mean the prices at AAHA accredited hospitals are higher than those at other practices?

Not all veterinary hospitals are able to offer the same level of care, so prices vary from practice to practice. This variance can be found between two non-accredited practices, between two accredited practices or between an accredited and a non-accredited practice. Since AAHA accredited practices are expected to offer the highest standard of veterinary care for their patients, they commonly offer services and treatments not available at other practices in the area. There can be additional costs associated with these services.

Does my veterinarian act in the best interest of my pet?

Veterinarians are pet owners and are passionate about strengthening the human-animal bond. Many veterinary professionals are committed to providing the same level of care for their patients as they do for their own pets. The care your pet ultimately receives at South Hyland Pet Hospital is a result of the collaboration between you and your veterinarian, taking into account the doctor’s recommendation as well as the level of care you choose. Our team-based approach gives pet owners the ability to choose their doctor, get all of their questions answered and discuss treatment options.